Date: Sunday, March 20th
Time: 2:30 PM
Venue: Talen Energy Stadium
Referees: REF: Nima Saghafi, AR1: Sean Hurd, AR2: Adan Wienckowski, 4TH: Alan Kelly
Streaming: MLS Live
All-time record: The Union (1-1-0) are 8-5-4 all time against New England (0-0-2) - 7-5-4 in MLS play and 1-0 in US Open Cup play. They lead the series 5-3-2 all time in Chester.
What New England will look like: New England show a lot like the Philadelphia Union. They tried to play a high-pressure style against the Houston Dynamo on opening day and were burned, conceding three goals (but also scoring three) against Houston. They shifted tactics for their second match, and held on to possession. The result was a 0-0 draw against D.C. United. It'll be interesting to see how they choose to line up against the Union, however they may be lining up without one of their best players. Charlie Davies went down in the 34th minute of the match against D.C. and was subbed off, so it remains to be seen if he'll be available. Look for much of the same lineup that the Revs sent out against D.C. last week, with Juan Agudelo (remember him?) in place of Davies.
What Philadelphia will look like: With Vincent Nogueira and Tranquillo Barnetta day-to-day, I would expect to see the same lineup that was used against Columbus Crew SC with Brian Carroll and Warren Creavalle forming the double-pivot at central defensive midfield. That being said, it might be beneficial for the Union to replace Carroll with an offensive player such as Roland Alberg and moving Chris Pontius up to a false nine, where he and Sapong can wreak havoc on the same defense that allowed three goals against Houston.
What to expect: It's going to be a cold day on the banks of the Delaware River, and with the possibility of snow look for this to be a very disjointed match. I don't expect either team to be able to get many chances - especially if both look to bunker down and play the counter. New England has historically not performed well in Chester, and I don't see any reason that trend doesn't continue. I wouldn't be shocked to see the Union somehow manage to eke out a goal and win, but a 0-0 draw isn't out of the question either.